Tag Archives: witchcraft

Thou Dost Protest Too Much; or, Neopagan Backlash Again Time Magazine

Avertisement poster for Salem TV show

On October 28, 2014, Time magazine published Jennifer Latson’s “Why Witches on TV Spell Trouble in Real Life,” a look at why the witch has become so commonplace in pop culture, as well as the long-standing morality lesson taught by studies of the historical witch-trials, which gave us the phrase “witch-hunt” to mean a search for and persecution of a perceived enemy with little regard to guilt or innocence. Neopagans, particularly modern witches, come out in force protesting how the

European Witch-Hunts; or, Persecution, Chaos and Hysteria for All

Women being hung for witchcraft

The topic of the European Witch-Craze, stretching roughly between the late 15th century and the mid-17th century, is a complex topic. It’s very easy to simply disregard it as barbaric and superstitious, and, indeed, academia did exactly that until the 1960s. That doesn’t mean you can’t find material about witch trials before 1960s.  It does mean whatever you find will almost assuredly not be written by an academic, have poor knowledge of historical context, and frequently just be flat out

Deliberate Ignorance: Books Are Bad

books and candles

As I’m cleaning up stuff from my time at About.com, I stumbled across this gem of a public comment on the Facebook group dedicated to my Alternative Religion about.com site, and I just had to save it for posterity. Forget the fact that this writer is clearly what I shall call an angrypagan: a neopagan consumed by the idea of various forces (here the Catholic church; Christianity in general is commonly the target) actively persecuted their people through history. Forget

Why I Want to Punch “Sleepy Hollow”

This TV show makes the historian in me weep. To me, Sleepy Hollow typifies all the wrong ways of writing alt-history. The writers came up with a story by grabbing a literary figure, bringing him into the present, rolling both into the apocalyptic predictions of the Book of Revelation, and then force-feeding the concept back into history. History pukes. The Witches In the Sleepy Hollow world, witches are real. Fair enough. We’re crazy for witches right now, and we are